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As Inflation Hits Meltdown, Which Country Will Be Next To Adopt Bitcoin?



Some of the biggest economic problems among developing countries are the lack of financial inclusion and high levels of inflation. But is Bitcoin a practical solution?

Regions like Latin America and Africa usually tend to have high inflation rates. According to Statista, the monthly inflation average level for South America for 2022 has been 11.22% and according to Trading Economics, the average inflation level for Africa in 2022 has been 7.5%

Cryptocurrency was created more than a decade ago when Bitcoin saw the light for the first time in 2008, with a current market cap of nearly $400 million.

According to there are 200 million Bitcoin wallets worldwide, 400,000 daily users and 53 million Bitcoin users in total.

The Case of El Salvador 

El Salvador was the first country in Latin America to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender 2021.

The economic situation of the country before the Bitcoin adoption was complex due to the high inflation levels and lack of financial inclusion.

According to Trading Economics the annual inflation rate for the country by Sept. was 7.49%

After one year of the adoption of Bitcoin in the country the surrounding opinions are mostly negative, according to the statistics provided by the El Salvador Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of 2022, with only 14% of the population using it.

One of the strongest critics to the BTC adoption within the country has been the lack of knowledge around what is Bitcoin? And how does it work?

The Case of the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender in April following a decision taken by President Touadéra.

The president, along with the parliament, planned on launching a project called Sango, the first crypto hub on the continent.

CAR has been looking to have their own cryptocurrency under the Sango Project, the Sango Coin intended to create their own digital economic monetary system backed by Bitcoin.

According to Sango official website their objectives are to take Bitcoin to the next level and to create the first crypto island.

So Which Countries Could Adopt Bitcoin as Legal Tender?

In Latin America, Venezuela has been considered as a crypto friendly country, according to Triple A. Over 10.3% of their population invest in crypto, approximately 2.9 million people of the population.

The country has its own cryptocurrency called Petro, backed by their government and launched in Feb 2018.

CBDC Venezuela Petro Inflation Bitcoin BTC Cryptocurrency

The digital currency is backed by the oil and minerals reserves of their own country, being mostly used by the government.

The country has one of highest inflation rates in the Latin America region. According to Trading Economics, the inflation rate in Oct. was 1,946%

Mexico has also been considered as a contender to enter the crypto legal tender club. It has one of the most advanced tech policy law following the creation of a law in March 2018. It also has influential backing of the important Mexican senator Indira Kempis.

In the Africa region, Nigeria has been considered as another of the potential countries that could adopt the cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

The economic situation in the country along with their fast level of Bitcoin adoption has placed Nigeria as a perfect candidate for being one of the next players in the crypto industry as a cryptocurrency legal tender.

Their local currency, the Naira, has depreciated 209% in recent years and according to Trading Economics their inflation rate for Sept. was 20.77%

Is Bitcoin a Possible Fix for Inflation?

Inflation is one of the biggest problems among the economies worldwide, as mentioned previously. Latin America and Africa are one of the regions with the highest inflation rates worldwide.

Bitcoin brings a new monetary system based on the ideas of no intermediaries and decentralization.

But is it possible that cryptocurrency could be a solution to inflation issues?

Inflation Bitcoin BTC Cryptocurrency

Partially the answer is yes, thanks to the different characteristics of stablecoins such as USDT and USDC among others.

In opposition to the traditional economic monetary system that prints money while growing indefinitely, the deflationary economic system of Bitcoin is due to its maximum circulating supply of 21 million coins.

What Do the Experts Think?

Marcos Bravo Catalan, Founder of Beps Global Consultants says, “Latin America is one of the most complex regions, when we talk about macroeconomic problems, with high inflation ratings and massive lack of financial inclusion levels, the cryptocurrency world offers a lot of possibilities for the people on different countries among the continent”

Maria Mercedes Etchegoyen, Lawyer and Founder of Cryprogirls says, “Bitcoin has been helping people around the world while working as a new payment method system. Those countries with high inflation, corrupt governments and with high levels of regulations are the ones that I think have more chances of adopting cryptocurrencies as legal tender.”

What Will the Future Hold?

It’s difficult to know which country will be the next to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender, but there are two economic factors that are common in countries that have led to its adoption: high inflation rates and lack of financial inclusion.

Following the case of El Salvador, education is a key factor in the adoption of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. For that adoption to become a success, the population will need to understand what cryptocurrencies are, and, crucially, how they work.


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US Treasury Sanctions Hit Russian Arms Dealer’s Crypto Wallets




The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed full blocking sanctions on 22 individuals and entities across several countries, including Russia and Cyprus, as part of its sanctions evasion network that supports Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 14024 and are part of the U.S.’s strategy to target sanctions evasion globally, close key channels, and limit Russia’s access to revenue for its war in Ukraine.

US Treasury Goes After Russian Arms Dealer’s Cryptos

The U.S. Treasury’s sanctions were imposed by the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force, a multilateral effort to identify, freeze, and seize assets of sanctioned Russians worldwide. This task force leverages information from international REPO partners and key data from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to share information, track Russian assets, and sever Russian proxies from the international financial system.

The REPO Task Force aims to maximize the impact of multilateral sanctions while preventing opportunities for Russia to evade or circumvent U.S. and partner sanctions.

The primary target of the sanctions is a Russian sanctions evasion network led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov and his son Jonatan Zimenkov. The Zimenkov network has been involved in projects related to Russia’s defense capabilities, including supplying a Russian company with high-tech devices after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They have also supported sanctioned state-owned Russian defense entities, Rosoboroneksport OAO and State Corporation Rostec, which are critical components of Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov have worked closely together to enable Russian defense sales to third-party governments and have engaged directly with Rosoboroneksport’s potential clients to facilitate sales of Russian defense material. Igor Zimenkov has also supported the Belarusian military-industrial complex by enabling the sales efforts of State Owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise Belspetsvneshtechnika in Latin America.

Today, Igor Zimenkov was designated for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, while Jonatan Zimenkov was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for Igor Zimenkov, Rosoboroneksport, and other sanctioned entities.

The Zimenkov network used front companies to funnel money and maintain a lawful appearance. Singapore-based Zimenkov network shell company Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited and its director, Serena Bee Lin Ng, have sold helicopters to clients in Africa on behalf of the Zimenkov network. Additionally, Cyprus-based Zimenkov network shell company Lobster Management Limited and its director, Mikhail Petrov, have facilitated sanctions evasion by providing support to sanctioned entities.

The Treasury’s OFAC continues to work with its international partners to coordinate information sharing and enforcement and to travel the world in pursuit of sanctions evasion. The sanctions imposed today are a clear signal to Russia and its military-industrial complex that the U.S. and its partners are committed to tightening sanctions enforcement and preventing the evasion of international sanctions.


BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.

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Digital Wallet Growth Will Enable More Closed-Loop Transactions




Crypto and fintech investment firm Ark Invest has made bold predictions about digital wallets, estimating that more than half the world will soon be using at least one.

In its Jan. 31 ‘Big Ideas 2023’ research report, Ark Invest revealed that digital wallet global population penetration is currently 40%. This equates to around 3.2 billion users, the firm added.

However, the research suggests that the number of online wallet users will increase at an annual rate of 8%. The firm predicted that this will result in a global population penetration of 65% by 2030:

“Having onboarded billions of consumers and millions of merchants, digital wallets could transform the economics associated with traditional payment transactions, saving them nearly $50 billion in costs.”

It also noted that digital wallets were gaining market share in online and offline transactions. Cash is definitely in decline, accelerated by government initiatives to go digital, as recently seen in Nigeria.

Payment method trends - Ark Invest
Payment method trends – Ark Invest

Digital Wallet Growth to Continue

Ark reported that digital wallets were scaling faster than accounts at traditional financial institutions. Furthermore, U.S. digital wallet adoption rebounded in 2022, surpassing previous highs following a COVID-induced dip.

The firm estimates that U.S. digital wallet users will increase by 7% annually during the next eight years. This will be a growth of around 160 million in 2022 to more than 260 million by the end of the decade.

Digital wallet user growth - Ark Invest
Digital wallet user growth – Ark Invest

Furthermore, online wallets are enabling “closed-loop” ecosystems. This is where consumers and merchants can transact directly, cutting out the middleman. 

“Digital wallets are onboarding millions of merchants to platforms that enable direct consumer-merchant transactions that disintermediate traditional financial institutions,” it noted.

In this closed-loop environment, wallet providers capture more value per transaction, enabling savings to be shared with merchants and consumers.

Open and Closed Lopp transactions - Ark Invest
Open and Closed Lopp transactions – Ark Invest

Additionally, Ark noted that closed-loop transactions could boost the margin structure of wallet providers.

It used Block Inc. (formerly Square) as an example, stating that it paid around 60% of customer transaction fees to third parties in 2022. The fees were paid for interchange, assessment, processing, and bank settlement fees. Block’s net take rate could more than double if customers transacted directly with merchants.

Block Inc. fee structure - Ark Invest
Block Inc. fee structure – Ark Invest

Closed Loop Transactions Could Top 50%

Finally, Ark predicted that these closed-loop transactions could account for over 50% of digital payments by 2030.

It used China as an example where wallets and merchants are largely internal or domestic only.

Closed loop cost savings - Ark Invest
Closed loop cost savings – Ark Invest

In conclusion, digital wallet growth is set to continue. Cutting out the intermediary which they facilitate is beneficial to both the consumer and merchant.


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Strike Launches Lightning Remittances in the Philippines




Bitcoin fintech giant Strike rolled out its Lightning Network money transfer service Send Globally in the Philippines, a $35 billion remittance market.

Send Globally launched in the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 31, 2023, enabling businesses and tourists to receive international money transfers in the Philippine peso. The country receives $35 billion in remittances globally.

How Strike’s Send Globally Service Works

“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said.

According to a press release, Strike’s remittance service converts a sender’s fiat into Bitcoin and sends the Bitcoin to a Strike partner in the destination country using the Lightning Network, which in the case of the Philippines, is then converts the Bitcoin to the recipient’s fiat currency and credits their bank or mobile money account, with Strike shielding both parties from the tax implications of handling Bitcoin directly.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-two solution on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows micropayments between nodes over a payment channel. Unlike traditional payment networks, Lightning’s low fees enable almost zero-cost remittances.

Recently, Mallers announced a trial to bring Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to retailers through a partnership with Fiserv’s point-of-sale solution Clover Commerce. The trial allows any application with Lightning capability to pay Bitcoin for goods and services at Clover merchants.

Philippine Smartphone and Internet Adoption Auger Well for Strike

Send Globally rolled out to Strike users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya on Dec. 6, 2022, where it has reportedly gained rapid traction.

However, mainstream adoption in the Philippines will depend heavily on network effects, driven by smartphone and internet penetration.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will increase from 85 million in 2022 to 87 million by 2023. Additionally, forecasts suggest smartphone users will increase to 91.5 million in 2025, representing roughly 83% of the island nation’s population.

Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines
Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines | Source: Statista

Additionally, Statista predicts that about three-quarters of the population will have internet access by the end of 2023. Growing internet access increases the chance of Strike’s success, since it helped drive adoption of crypto game Axie Infinity.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.


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